Re: Export to where?

From: Stefano Mazzocchi <>
Date: Thu, 29 Sep 2005 17:13:50 -0700

Stefano Mazzocchi wrote:
> David Huynh wrote:
>> Joel Shprentz wrote:
>>> To where does Piggy Bank export the current items as RDF?
>> That's a bug. It should make the browser prompt you for where to save
>> the HTTP response (as an N3 file). It doesn't work right now because
>> it seems that Piggy Bank is tripping on its own foot in detecting the
>> content type of the response as application/n3 and trying to import it
>> back in...
>> Thanks! We're on it!
> D'oh! my fault, didn't think of that one.

Ok, this is nastier than I expected.

So, I tried to avoid invoking our own content loader if the request
comes from localhost as a workaround, but this doesn't work because the
request object (that contains the URL) is not passed to find out whether
or not the content handler should be invoked (only the mime-type is).

Also, I couldn't find a way to stop the loading from our own loader and
return something that would be able to invoke it.

Now, this made me wonder if we are taking the wrong approach: one of the
things that made the web successful was the 'view source' ability. Now,
if piggybank takes control of your RDF, there is no (easy) way to see
the textual representation of the RDF serialization.

So, I wonder:

  1) should Piggy Bank try to load the RDF right away (and therefore
make it hard to use your browser for anything else that is RDF related,
including downloading piggy-bank's own raw RDF export)?


  2) should Piggy Bank just show the data-coin icon and let the users
click when needed?

  3) or should the behavior be configurable? (unfortunately, it's an
all/nothing configuration, you can't have a per-URL or per-URL regexp
configuration, or I wouldn't be writing this email)

Eric claims that every time we force users to click, we lose half of
them. I'm not sure I buy that, but he has a point in wanting to make the
RDF experience the most streamlined as possible.

There is a fourth alternative:

  4) return the Piggy bank export RDF as "text/plain" (or something else
such as "application/vnd.piggy-bank.export" to avoid the mime type
handler to get invoked.


Stefano Mazzocchi
Research Scientist                 Digital Libraries Research Group
Massachusetts Institute of Technology            location: E25-131C
77 Massachusetts Ave                   telephone: +1 (617) 253-1096
Cambridge, MA  02139-4307              email: stefanom at mit . edu
Received on Fri Sep 30 2005 - 00:09:09 EDT

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